7:09 A.M.

Everyonethinksitwasbecauseofthesnow.Andinaway,Isupposethat’strue.

Iwakeupthismorningtoathinblanketofwhitecoveringourfrontlawn.Itisn’tevenaninch,butinthispartofOregonaslightdustingbringseverythingtoastandstillastheonesnowplowinthecountygetsbusyclearingtheroads.Itiswetwaterthatdropsfromtheskyanddropsanddropsanddropsnotthefrozenkind.

Itisenoughsnowtocancelschool.Mylittlebrother,Teddy,letsoutawarwhoopwhenMom’sAMradioannouncestheclosures.“Snowday!”hebellows.“Dad,let’sgomakeasnowman.”

Mydadsmilesandtapsonhispipe.Hestartedsmokingonerecentlyaspartofthiswhole1950s,FatherKnowsBestretrokickheison.Healsowearsbowties.IamneverquiteclearonwhetherallthisissartorialorsardonicDad’swayofannouncingthatheusedtobeapunkerbutisnowamiddle-schoolEnglishteacher,orifbecomingateacherhasactuallyturnedmydadintothisgenuinethrowback.ButIlikethesmellofthepipetobacco.Itissweetandsmoky,andremindsmeofwintersandwoodstoves.

“Youcanmakeavalianttry,”DadtellsTeddy.“Butit’shardlystickingtotheroads.Maybeyoushouldconsiderasnowamoeba.”

IcantellDadishappy.Barelyaninchofsnowmeansthatalltheschoolsinthecountyareclosed,includingmyhighschoolandthemiddleschoolwhereDadworks,soit’sanunexpecteddayoffforhim,too.Mymother,whoworksforatravelagentintown,clicksofftheradioandpoursherselfasecondcupofcoffee.

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